“My Life as a Zucchini” honoured with European Film Award 2016
“My Life as a Zucchini” by Claude Barras

“My Life as a Zucchini” honoured with European Film Award 2016

“My Life as a Zucchini” (“Ma vie de Courgette”) by Claude Barras (Rita Productions, Geneva) was honoured with the European Film Award for Best European Animated Feature Film. It is Switzerland’s most successful animation film of all time and one of this year’s Swiss box-office hits. The award ceremony was held in Wroclaw, Poland, this year’s European Capital of Culture, on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

My Life as a Zucchini” celebrated its world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the Festival de Cannes. The Swiss-French coproduction is Switzerland’s official candidate in the running for an Academy Award in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. The American distributor GKIDS has also submitted the film in the category of Best Animated Feature Film.

Apart from numerous other awards over the course of its unprecedented festival career, the stop-motion animation won the Cristal for a Feature Film and the Audience Award at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival as well as the Audience Award for Best European Film in San Sebastián.

Tremendous success in European cinema
“My Life as a Zucchini” was produced Rita Productions (producers: Max Karli, Pauline Gygax) in coproduction with Blue Spirit Productions, Paris; Gébéka Films, Lyon and KNM, Monte Carlo. KNM belongs to Michel Merkt, from Switzerland, who also produced the Best European Film “Toni Erdmann”. World Sales were acquired by Indie Sales in Paris. “My Life as a Zucchini” has been sold in more than 50 countries until now. The film has been extremely successful in cinemas and is currently running in Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and in French-speaking Switzerland (ticket sales over 75,000) and France (ticket sales over 500,000).

The stop-motion animation tells the story of the nine-year-old Icare, who prefers to be called Courgette (Zucchini), as he finds his bearings in a children’s home after his mother’s death. It is based on the novel “Autobiographie d’une courgette” by Gilles Paris and was adapted for the screen by the renowned French screenwriter Céline Sciamma (“Girlhood”, “Being 17”). The film score was composed by the Swiss singer/songwriter Sophie Hunger.

Some 3,000 members of the European Film Academy (including 150 from Switzerland) had to decide on their favourite in the animation film category between “My Life as a Zucchini”, the Spanish film “Psiconautas, the Forgotten Children” and the French-Belgian production “The Red Turtle”. This is the first time that a Swiss animation film has received the award. Last year the fiction film “Youth” by Paolo Sorrentino, coproduced by C-Films in Zurich, was honoured with three awards; in 2012 “Hiver nomade” by Manuel von Stürler (Louise Productions, Lausanne) won the award for Best Documentary Film.

SWISS FILMS, 10.12.2016


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